Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Cardigan Sweater

Winnie Autumn, named for the shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee in the fall
One of my hopes with this year's project was to use up some of the materials I had in my stash. Originally I had three skeins of dark blue wool for the main part of this sweater, two variegated blue skeins for the yoke, and a ball of creamy white for highlights. But on second look, the variegated blue was not quite right, so I dyed one, two, three, four more skeins until I had the right grey-blue. 

In the meantime, I dyed four multicolor skeins for the fun of it (herein lies my materials issue). I liked them so well I incorporated them into my design. In case you've lost count, I had five skeins and one ball, and I dyed eight more. I used about five to complete the sweater. There was a net gain in materials.

The construction of this sweater is unusual: I cast on provisionally at the yoke, worked down five rows, split for the sleeves and body, worked the sleeves and body, and then picked up the stitches at the provisional cast on and resumed the yoke in the opposite direction. Why? So the dipped stitches (the points) could reach into the dark blue body of the sweater from the yoke and the hems. And because I'm a knitter.

Checking in on my year's To Do list, I have some work on the horizon: 

Old skills: Hand knit and write patternsmachine knitscreen print, sew on the Berninaserge with the Husqvarnaserge and mock chain on the Siruba, acid dye, *fiber reactive dye, weave, *spin, paint, full or felt, trim, thriftreclaim or refashion.
New challenges: Discharge print, design my own fabric at Spoonflower, embroider, crochetpompom & tassel, applique & patchwork.
Garments: Cardigan sweater, sweater vest, pullover sweater, scarfhatmittens, coat, dressshirtskirt, *leggings, tee, pants, *socks, slip, undershirt, bike shorts, apron, handkerchiefand brooch.
* work in progress

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Undershirt

Hunting season is here. Behold my blaze orange undershirt, a Dharma Trading Company bias cut silk camisole. I had worn it many times as a plain white undergarment.  I guess this project can be called a refashion.

I had some dyeing still left in me when I arrived home from Fiber College -- wait, who am I kidding? I could dye all day long. As I was unpacking my supplies I threw this in a Mason Jar with the golden orange I was craving, shook it, steamed it twenty minutes, rinsed, done.

So yes, my underwear is bright, but that's just between you and me. I am going to wear it like this until I tire of the color and then I can over-dye it.

Thanks for all the well wishes, Friends. My cataracts are gone and I am styling two new intraocular lens implants. I choked up a little after acing my eye exam -- I have not been able to read an eye chart without assistance since the third grade. Then I made that awful convulsing sound because I was embarrassed about losing my composure. Then I couldn't read the chart ...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Another Fiber College has come and gone.  Per usual I have come home with not enough photos. I waffle between capturing the moment in pixels and experiencing the moment fully, like a big bite of delicious food. 

On Friday I met with thirteen brave knitters to explore how variegated yarn behaves. We played with stitch patterns and discussed the superpowers and pitfalls of this challenging yarn. I am stunned at what I come away with in teaching. Knitters are lovely people that are not afraid to communicate joy, enthusiasm, and good ideas. 

photo courtesy Sandy Cohen of Sandolini Buckwheat Crackers

On Saturday and Sunday I played Dyetender at the Dye Tent. We jammed wool and silk and dyes into Mason Jars and then steamed them like pickles. 

I ate lobster, lounged on the beach, woke up to lapping waves, and laughed deliriously with (and at) dear dear friends. Link here to reflections from Gale Zucker and Mary Lou Egan. Keep an eye on Kirsten Kapur, Jani Estell, Beverly Army Williams and Cal Patch as well -- they motivated each other to blog more.

I encourage you to peek at the Fiber College page on facebook as well as Astrig Tanguay's page-- there you will find videos and photos from many folks that better describe the whole event. The Missus of Gee's Bend bathed the week with heartfelt song and the true spirit of Make.

On a personal note, I am in the midst of having cataracts removed. My left eye was fixed yesterday, and my right eye will be fixed next week. In the meantime, I have bionic vision in my newly corrected eye, and super myopic and astigmatic vision in my right eye -- I'm an overachiever in crappy vision. I have resigned myself to having a dicey week. Also, I was the only gal asked to take a pregnancy test before surgery. I am feeling youthful and fortunate.